Will Voters Get Fed Up With Republican Typhoid Marys & Seditionists And Punish The GOP At The Polls?
Berniecrat Bruce Allen tweeted this morning that he grieves "for the innocent bystanders, the children, cancer patients, the immunocompromised, etc. But, if this trend continues, the resulting carnage among Republicans, could save America." I don't think he meant that enough Trump voters will die between now and the 2022 midterm that their own candidates won't have enough voters behind them. That could only happen in a Tarantino film. I assumed that what he meant is that independent voters will get fed up with the crackpot Republicans who are spreading disease and preventing the country from putting the pandemic behind us.
On the other hand... when Trump heard that conservative Republican congressman and former Ohio ally Anthony Gonzalez isn't running for reelection in his northern Ohio district, his response was "1 down, 9 to go." That's how the head of the Republican Party refers to the end of the career of someone who was recognized as part of the GOP's bright future? Nope! There is no more Republican Party. It's the Trump Party now.
Last last night, reporting for the Washington Post, Mike DeBonis and Marianna Sotomayor wrote about how the GOP's top concern seems to be Señor T's Big Lie. Insurrection, Part II, today was a complete bust-- more media than Trumpists-- but earlier "Trump," they wrote, "expressed sympathy for his supporters who participated in the [original] attack and are now being prosecuted by federal authorities ahead of a Saturday rally at the Capitol that is expected to attract a small cohort of far-right protesters, claiming that the arrestees are being held as 'political prisoners.'" You think independent and swing voters want to hear that?
Official Trumpanzee statement: "Our hearts and minds are with the people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the January 6th protest concerning the Rigged Presidential Election," adding that the prosecutions have "proven conclusively that we are a two-tiered system of justice." Good red meat for the base. For normal people... uh, no.
Trump’s willingness to not only sweep the Jan. 6 riot under the rug, but to embrace its perpetrators as political martyrs, has been met with silence by GOP congressional leaders, despite their stated desire to move on from the past and focus the party on opposing President Biden’s governing agenda.
...[N]one of the top six Republican congressional leaders offered a fresh rebuke of Trump after he issued his Thursday statement of solidarity with the rioters. A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) referred a reporter back to his earlier denunciations of the violence, while aides to the other leaders declined to comment or did not respond.
The refusal to engage directly with Trump has led some of his Republican critics to warn that party leaders are adopting the same nonconfrontational posture that allowed his rise to the presidency-- and later enabled his promotion of the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen and the subsequent violence at the Capitol.
“That’s not leadership, it’s simply trying to hang onto what you got,” said Mark Sanford, the former GOP congressman and governor from South Carolina who lost his House seat in a 2018 primary after crossing Trump. “I get it that that’s the operating paradigm for most people in politics. But that’s also what makes Gonzalez a hero.”
The silence among GOP leaders when it comes to condemning attacks by Trump supporters that are aimed at fellow Republicans and their families has made it difficult for some to find their footing in an unrecognizable party.
...Meanwhile, Trump’s endorsements this cycle have elevated not only loyalists but key promoters of his false claims about rampant fraud in the 2020 president election. Trump on Thursday endorsed lawyer Matthew DePerno for Michigan attorney general, who filed a lawsuit calling for a statewide audit after Trump’s loss there based on alleged election fraud in one rural country. A tabulation error by an election worker was quickly identified as the reason for an election-night inconsistency, and a judge dropped the lawsuit in May.
Another Trump endorsee, Joe Kent, said on Twitter this week that he planned to speak at Saturday’s rally, calling those being prosecuted “political prisoners” who are being denied their constitutional rights “due to their political affiliation & a narrative based on lies.” Kent is running against Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA), another one of the 10 Republican impeachers.
...The risks for the GOP of having another election cycle focused on Trump were on full display this week in California, where Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom easily repelled a Republican-led recall campaign by tying his most prominent GOP opponent, conservative talk show host Larry Elder, to Trump’s policy and personality.
That result has buoyed Democrats as Biden’s approval ratings have sagged in recent weeks, giving the party hope that they will be able to cast the 2022 midterms as a choice between Biden and Trump rather than a referendum on the incumbent.
Chris Taylor, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said “there’s no wonder why” Gonzalez chose to retire, citing some Republicans’ embrace of anti-vaccine and anti-mask rhetoric as well as Trump’s false election claims. “Fed up with crazytown, we bet voters will reject the GOP’s dangerous agenda too,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gonzalez’s decision to leave the House rather than face a hard-fought battle against Miller demonstrates how Trump continues to purge GOP lawmakers whose moderation and independence were once crucial to allowing the party to compete in key suburban districts that have steadily drifted toward Democrats.
Former GOP Rep. Ryan Costello (PA), a moderate who retired in 2018 after his district was redrawn and is now considering a Senate run, said “I understand exactly why” Gonzalez chose to retire.
“Having said that, I think it is a loss for the party, and I think there are a lot of people in the country that, had they gotten to know Anthony better over time, would realize that’s exactly the kind of person you want in public office,” he said. “He was pragmatic. He had an independent streak... It’s a loss for our representative democracy.”
Instead it has fallen to a familiar and dwindling cast of anti-Trump Republicans to warn about the perils to American democracy.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) delivered such a warning Thursday during an event at Brigham Young University, declaring that “our resolve to follow the Constitution’s path, avoiding the perils of authoritarianism on one hand and pure democracy on the other, that’s wavering.”
“No more stunning evidence of that was the attempt to prevent the lawful and constitutional transfer of power on Jan. 6,” he said. “It followed from the president of the United States claiming that the election had been stolen from him.”
Meanwhile, the tension and violence inflamed-- and rarely denounced-- by Trump has become a growing point of concern for Republicans not aligned with the former president. In an interview with the New York Times, Gonzalez made clear that he would not have felt fulfilled in the job had he won reelection because the party has learned to take its cues only from Trump.
“It’s incredibly dangerous stuff that we’re playing with right now, and it hurts the party, it hurts the conservative movement, hurts our country,” Sanford said. “It needs to be stamped out and people need to speak up. And that’s why you’ve got to give credit to someone like Gonzalez, who did speak up.”
There were just between 600 and 700 right-wing nuts who took part in today's rally-- about the same number who were arrested after the first insurrection. A new poll by YouGov for The Economist looked at how registered voters see the insurrectionists. 17% see them favorably and 69% see them unfavorably. Among Republicans, though, that favorable number goes to 25%. Meanwhile, 18% of Independents feel favorably about the insurrectionists and 65% feel unfavorably about them. 40% of voters overall feel that the insurrectionists represent all Trump voters, a sentiment agreed to by 66% of Republicans! When asked if Trump bears responsibility for the sacking of the Capitol, 51% of registered voters said yes-- including 84% of Democrats, 45% of independents and just 17% of Republicans.
Asked whether people who participated in the coup attempt should be prosecuted:
Republicans (formerly the law & order party)- 48%